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Garden volunteering at Lindisfarne Castle

Gardener Fliss Elsom-Cook in the Gertrude Jekyll garden at Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island, Northumberland
Gardener in the Gertrude Jekyll garden at Lindisfarne Castle | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Gordon and Helen Smith volunteer twice a week at the Gertrude Jekyll garden at Lindisfarne Castle. Gordon has been volunteering at the garden since 2015, when he stopped working, and Helen joined him in 2018. Phoebe their dog comes along too. Find out what they love about volunteering here, and how you could join them.

Why Lindisfarne Castle?

Gordon: At the time, we didn’t have a garden at home and I just missed getting my fingers dirty. I’d just stopped working but wanted something regular to do and somewhere regular to go to.  

I heard they were looking for volunteers in the garden at Lindisfarne Castle and jumped at the chance. 

What are the good bits?

Helen: You can arrive in the morning in a bit of a grump, but when you leave at the end of the day you feel so much better. It’s the fresh air, the views, the company – it’s all so good for your mental and physical health.  

Gordon: Yes, I fully agree with that. And I’ve also learnt a lot about gardening from the gardeners who I’ve worked alongside.

And the bad bits?

Both: Well, it’s quite a long walk to the castle to get a cup of tea when it’s time for a brew! 

When is the best time in the garden?

Helen: When the tide is in and the causeway is closed – it’s so peaceful in the garden. 

Gordon: I agree with Helen, but have to add also when the plants you’ve planted start to flower.  

A view over the Gertrude Jekyll Garden at Lindisfarne Castle dominated by yellow flowers
The Gertrude Jekyll Garden at Lindisfarne Castle | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Why join us?

There are lots of reasons to join us; making the move to volunteer could be the best decision you ever make.

  • Become part of a friendly and dedicated team
  • Meet people from all walks of life and forge new friendships
  • Utilise your existing skills and learn new ones
  • Strengthen your CV and help to develop your career
  • Enjoy the great outdoors
  • Learn about the history of this special place.

Get in touch about volunteering at Lindisfarne Castle

If you'd like to join Gordon and Helen by volunteering in the garden, please email us at or further information.

We are always looking for more people to come and help out, so we look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you

Thank you to all our volunteers who give their time to support the National Trust in many different roles.

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